It’s not getting any more entertaining is it? Manchester United produced yet another dull display in a lifeless draw away to AZ Alkmaar.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side failed to register a shot on target in a game, which once again highlighted the lack of quality the Norwegian has at his disposal.
The Red Devils’ best moment came on the half hour mark, when Dan James chased down an overhit Diogo Dalot pass and cut the ball back to Mason Greenwood, who saw his goal bound shot was blocked by Ron Vlaar.
United were denied a clear cut penalty after Marcus Rashford was brought down by Wuytens and Jesse Lingard went close with a rasping drive late on.
Here are three players who can be happy with their performances.
David de Gea
The Spanish stopper’s inclusion in the starting eleven came as a surprise, with Sergio Romero usually being deployed as United’s cup goalkeeper.
De Gea looks to be getting back to his best form and built on a positive display against Arsenal with another assured performance in Holland.
United’s captain on the night got down smartly to deny Oussama Idrissi from long-range in the 15th minute and showed good concentration to deny Wijndal with a swerving shot from 25 yards in the second half.
The 28-year-old’s distribution looked impressive and composed, De Gea was eager to keep possession and chip balls into his full-backs so that they could build attacks.
United’s right-back was a constant attacking outlet throughout the match and delivered some wicked inviting crosses, he just needed a striker who had a killer instinct in the penalty area to get on the end of them.
The 20-year-old was constantly looking to be positive in possession, firing the ball into his forwards, trying to inject a much-needed tempo into United’s play.
The Portuguese youngster also had a positive night from a defensive point of view, Dalot looked at ease against Alkmaar’s forwards one-v-one and stayed patient jockeying his opponents instead of being rash and diving in.
Dalot’s ability to produce teasing crosses and throw in his trademark stepovers, could make him an option for Solskjaer on the right-wing against Newcastle.
After coming off the bench to make his senior debut in the Carabao Cup against Rochdale, Williams was given his first start by Solskjaer in the Netherlands.
Williams had 89 touches against Alkmaar, five more than any of his teammates and his marauding runs were evident from the very first whistle.
Having fellow academy star Angel Gomes in front of him, would have comforted Williams and the left-back was always eager to bomb past Gomes and offer United an attacking outlet, just like Dalot. Solskjaer would have been encouraged by the performances of his attack minded young full-backs.
Williams looked comfortable on the ball, was always looking forward in possession and defended resolutely on a difficult pitch.
It was clear in the final stages that he was dead on his feet due to the hard yards he had put in, but his performance should warrant further first team opportunities this season.
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